BBQ Brilliance With the Ginger Pig

It's a scorcher! Top BBQ tips from master butchers the Ginger Pig

Bored of burnt bangers? Well so are we. It’s time to take a stand and seriously up our barbecue game this summer. Lucky for us, expert butchers The Ginger Pig are on hand to divulge their meaty wisdom and give TOAST some top tips on how to achieve barbecue brilliance…

Whilst it seems that life has moved on, the barbecue menu has not; greasy burgers, carcinogenic sausages and maybe a bit of halloumi, if you’re lucky. But spending an afternoon cooking al fresco with friends is one of summer’s greatest pleasures (even if it does rain), so why not consider branching out with your barbecuing and try grilling something a bit different this year?

Boutique butchers The Ginger Pig began life over 20 years ago, with just three Tamworth pigs and a near-derelict farmhouse. They now own over 3,000 acres of pasture and North Yorkshire moorland, which is home to their native breed cattle, pigs, and sheep that are looked after like royalty. Animal welfare is at the heart of what they do; they believe that livestock that is looked after well in the field will simply taste better on the plate – and we couldn't agree more.

The Ginger Pig first sprung up in London at the famous foodie haven that is Borough Market, and there are now a further 6 (soon to be 7) of their chic butchers’ shops in existence. In 2011 they also published a 336-page book just about meat, so it’s safe to say that they know a thing or two about the stuff.

Get your tongs at the ready – here are The Ginger Pig and Toast’s top tips for achieving barbecue brilliance this summer.

No More Boring Burgers

We’ve had enough of boring BBQ menus, what can we put on our barbeque this summer to liven things up?

Onglet is a barrel-shaped muscle cut from along the spine of the cow. It’s a flavoursome, inexpensive cut and just needs a quick grill as it’s best served medium rare. Lamb rump also works well on the barbecue – the fat marbled through this cut results in full on flavour and keeps the meat succulent. You could also Spatchcock a coquelet (a chicken or game bird split open and grilled) you can ask your butcher to do this for you) and marinate in olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and some thyme - the flattened chicken means the meat will cook nice and evenly on the grill. A butterflied lamb leg is a simple classic, which is fantastic marinated in olive oil, garlic, rosemary and seasoning. Because the leg is boned out and flattened – like the spatchcock – this allows for even cooking on the grill.

Fool Proof

BBQs can be tricky to master – what can we grill that’s hard to get wrong…?

Cooking meat on the barbecue is all about confidence. We’d recommend buying a thermometer if you’re worried about burning the outside of your meat and the middle being undercooked. Be sure to rest your meat by covering in tin foil for the same amount of time as it has spent on the grill. When meat cooks, the moisture on the outside evaporates and the heat forces the meat’s remaining juices to the centre. Allowing the meat to stand away from the heat before serving allows the juices, which have been driven to the centre of the meat to redistribute throughout and be reabsorbed. As a result the meat will lose less juice when you cut it and be far more tender and juicy to eat. That’s our secret weapon!

Time To Get Exotic

We’ve heard about putting exotic meats like buffalo and ostrich on the grill. Should we be going there?

With our roots firmly in North Yorkshire we like to put outdoor reared, grass-fed meat from native breed animals on our barbecue. We don’t see many buffalo on the North York moors!

The Crowd Pleaser 

We’ve got a group of friends coming over – what can we BBQ that will feed a crowd?

A boned sirloin cut into kg pieces so they cook evenly is a huge crowd pleaser. Simply season with sea salt and rub with a little oil just before searing all over on a hot grill, then move over to the cooler side of the barbecue and leave to cook with the barbecue lid on. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the cut is cooked perfectly. Depending on individual tastes the temperatures you should be aiming for are;

Rare - 48-54°C

Medium rare - 55-59°C

Medium - 60-66°C

Well done - 67-71°C


Nose-to-tail eating (eating every part of the animal) is big news – is this achievable on the BBQ? 

Absolutely – the less expensive cuts from the forequarter will need a low and slow cooking approach, as these muscles are stronger and need a longer time on the grill to breakdown into tender meat. The middle and back end will need a shorter cooking time, as these muscles are worked less.

Sausage making is an important part of nose-to-tail butchery; in getting the most from an animal and ensuring nothing valuable is wasted.

Bikini-Friendly BBQ-ing

For those of us on a diet (ahem…) are there any leaner dishes that work well on the BBQ?

We think flavour is king, and the fat is where you find all the flavour! We say - have a little of something delicious rather than eating a lot of something less flavoursome.

Best To Impress

We’ve got the in-laws coming over – how can we impress them on the BBQ?

Picanha, which is beef rump cap, is an impressive but easy cut to cook on the grill. The layer of fat that covers it melts into the meat as it cooks, which results in a full on flavour. Here’s the recipe for you (they’re nice like that);

The Perfect Picanha

  • Get the meat out of the fridge an hour or so before cooking so it can come up to room temperature.
  • When the coals are burning grey, season the picanha with Maldon sea salt and place on the hot end of the grill and sear well fat side down, then sear the rest, not forgetting the sides.
  • Once seared, move the thin end of the cut over the cooler side of the grill, keeping the thicker end over the hot side (this stops uneven cooking). Continue flipping and building up the char on the outside for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Transfer the meat to the cooler end of the barbecue, and cook slowly for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer shows 55-59°C (for medium rare) when inserted in to the thickest part.
  • Take the meat off the barbecue, place in some kitchen foil and lay a tea towel over the top and rest for a good 25-30 minutes. Be patient – it’ll be worth it! Carve widthways and enjoy.


If you’ve got room after your picanha for dessert then why not throw a couple of bananas on the BBQ? Yes, that’s right - bananas. Take one banana per person and make a slit through the skin and half way into the banana, lengthways. Take some chocolate (a Flake works particularly well) and stuff it in to the banana. Wrap each banana in foil and throw on the BBQ for 15-20 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of rum or amaretto for grown ups...barbeque perfection!

Grilled Banana

Meat FREE?

As mouthwatering as the Ginger Pig’s suggestions may be let’s face it – there are some people out there who don’t eat meat. Don’t know what to put on the Barbie? Well panic not – luxury cheese merchants Paxton & Whitfield have the solution – a home-delivered BBQ cheese pack . Containing halloumi and a Celtic Capra (a delicious goats cheese) both of which are perfect for grilling, plus a whole Camembert complete with caramelized onion chutney and a selection of crackers (including charcoal crackers of course). Baked Camembert, barbeque style! Delicious

 (Image credit: Paxton and Whitfield)Paxton And Whitfield

For ideas and information on the best BBQ equipment to help you cook up a feast, take a look out TOAST's pick of the best.


Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 17 June 2017

  bbq, summer party

In This Article

2 hand-picked vendors
from our Little Black Book

see all 2 featured vendors

  See All Articles

Planning An Event?

Search for suppliers in our

Search for A Pro

Promote Your Business

We want to hear from you

Register Your Business

Get Featured on Toast

Suggest A Pro

- Explore the vendors featured in this article -

Search our Little BLACK BOOK for hand-picked experts & suppliers